Formerly known as Dwarasamudra, Halebid is also referred as the Gem of Indian Architecture. Once the capital of the Hoysala Empire after Belur, Halebid is famous for the remnants of the glorious Hoyasala period and has one of the finest Hoysala temples.
Halebid is in Hassan district in Belur taluk, 16 km east of Belur and 34 km from Hassan.
Halebid flourished as the capital of the Hoysala Empire during the 12th & 13th centuries. During the reign of Veeraballala II, the grandson of Vishnuvardhana, it reached the pinnacle of its greatness and saw its fall in 1327 AD when it was conquered by Muhammad Bin Tughlaq.
Fairs & Festivals
Though there are no major fairs and festivals in Halebid, the Mahamastakabhisheka of the 17-m-high statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwar) in Shravanbelgola after every 12 years is celebrated grandly. On this occasion, the statue is smeared with thousands of pots of coconut oil, yoghurt, ghee, bananas, jaggery, dates, almonds, poppy seeds, milk, saffron and sandalwood. This statue is said to be the tallest monolithic structure in the world.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Halebid is between the months of October and February.
How to Reach
BY AIR -The nearest airport is at Bangalore about 226 km away.
BY RAIL -The nearest railhead is in Hassan.
BY ROAD -Halebid is well-connected by a network of roads to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore. Regular buses ply from Hassan.
- Shiva Temples: The twin Shiva Temple with a common platform have two garbhagrihas - one housing the Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara Linga and the other Shanthaleshwara Linga.
- Hoysaleshwar Temple: The construction of this temple started in 1121 AD, but never completed. This is a scriptural extravaganza, richly endowed with most finely detailed scrollwork in stone.
- Nandimantapa: In front of the Hoysaleshwara is the Nandimantapa and behind that is a shrine of Surya with a 2-m-tall image. The place has a Parshwanatha basadi with highly polished pillars in which strange images of on-lookers are reflected.
- Museum of Archaeological Survey of India: This museum is located in the temple premises displaying sculptures, woodcarvings idols, coins and inscriptions of 12th and 13th centuries.
- Kedareshwara Temple: This is another monument built by Ketaladevi, Ballala II's Queen.
Places around Halebid
- Belur: A famous temple town in Karnataka, Belur is especially renowned for the grand Hoysala Temple Complex. Also known as Dakshina Varanasi, Belur is located in Hassan district.
- Somnathpur: Located 38 km from Mysore, the 13th century Keshava Temple in Somnathpur is the best-preserved most complete monument of Hoysala architecture.